Led by Player of the Year Katie Hurta, here is the Suburban Life All-Area girls volleyball team.
Sam Buckley, Benet, senior, setter: Committed to Washington University. Buckley, all-conference and all-tournament at the Wheaton Classic, led Benet in assists with the eighth-most in program history. She also led team in aces and was second in digs.
Darby Harris, Wheaton Warrenville South, senior, setter: DuKane Conference Player of the Year and all-tournament at the Wheaton Classic, Autumnfest and Crimson Classic, Harris led Tigers to sectional final after team took second in state in 2019. Harris, a Rice recruit, had 865 assists, 201 digs, 174 kills, 45 aces and 40 blocks. Holds program career record for digs. “Darby is the most selfless player I have ever coached,” WW South coach Bill Schreier said.
Katie Hurta, Nazareth, senior, outside hitter/setter: Suburban Life Player of the Year. Four-year varsity starter, East Suburban Catholic Conference Player of the Year and Indiana recruit led Nazareth to first-ever state title. Versatile talent had 415 kills at a .450 hitting percentage, fourth-best in the state, with 360 assists and 2.2 serve receive rating. Hurta finished her career with more than 1,000 kills.
Calli Kenny, Willowbrook, sophomore, outside hitter/opposite/setter: Two-time all-conference pick led Warriors to historic season – a 37-2 record and first-ever regional and sectional titles. Kenny led Willowbrook in kills (321) and aces (70) and was second in digs (232).
Paige Pickering, Montini, senior, outside hitter: GCAC Player of the Year and Cincinnati recruit was the centerpiece of program’s offense since she was a freshman and led Lady Broncos to Class 2A state title this season. Pickering, who finished her career with more than 1,000 kills, had 357 kills, 203 digs, 35 assists, 34 aces and 39 blocks this season. All-tournament at Wheaton North, Latin and Quincy Notre Dame. “Paige has contagious positive energy that the team feeds off of in every match,” Montini coach Trish Samolinski said. “Her ability to hit, serve, serve-receive and defend consistently keeps us in every match. She is fearless on the court and is our go-to when we need a big play.”
Adriana Vassek, Lyons, senior, outside hitter: Four-year varsity player and three-year starter, the six-rotation outside led Lions to 30-4 record, West Suburban Silver title and regional championship. Vassek had 236 kills, 210 digs, 18 aces and 17 blocks. All-conference and all-tournament at Rich East.
Gwen Wolkow, Downers Grove North, senior, outside hitter: Four-year starter was part of Downers Grove North’s state runner-up team as a freshman. This season Wolkow, who will play in college at Campbell, tallied 481 kills, 48% of the Trojans’ total, with 48 aces. She led her team in serve-receiving percentage with 2.16 and total receptions with 407. She added 266 digs and team-high 42 blocks. “I am not sure I saw a more complete player in the state than Gwen given that we played a highly competitive schedule,” Trojans coach Mark Wasik said.
I am the Sports Editor for Kendall County Newspapers, the Kane County Chronicle and Suburban Life Media, covering primarily sports in Kendall, Kane, DuPage and western Cook counties. I've been covering high school sports for 24 years. I also assist with our news coverage.